From Mexico City, there are places worth visiting in every direction. Those covered in this section can all be taken in on day-trips from the DF, but many are worth a longer stay. The heart of this region is the Valley of México, a mountain-ringed basin dominated by the vast snowcapped peaks of Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl. Since long before the Mexican nation existed, it has been the country’s centre of gravity. Even in the days of the Aztecs, cities such as Texcoco (now in the State of México) and Tlaxcala (now capital of its own little state) vied with Tenochtitlán (Mexico City) for domination.

Much of the region around Mexico City belongs to the State of México, whose capital is Toluca, to the west, but the state actually reaches all the way round the northern edge of Mexico City and covers its eastern side as well. Also encrusted around the capital are the small states of Hidalgo (to the north), Morelos (to the south) and Tlaxcala (to the east). The city of Puebla, though its state sprawls eastward towards Veracruz, is tucked in tidily next to Tlaxcala, just as Taxco is next to Morelos, though actually it belongs to Guerrero, the same state as Acapulco. All around the region, but particularly to the north of Mexico City, you’ll be able to see impressive pre-Hispanic sites.

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Mexico features

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The colours of Mexico captured in 14 pictures

The colours of Mexico captured in 14 pictures

Travel photographer Tim Draper has shot images for more than 20 Rough Guides guidebooks, visiting far-flung corners around the world. Here he shares some of h…

21 Jun 2016 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Marvellous Mexico: 8 insider tips from our authors

Marvellous Mexico: 8 insider tips from our authors

Surviving 42ºC (107ºF) desert heat, tramping hurricane-battered Pacific beaches and scaling lofty volcanoes, our hard-travelling authors have visited every co…

06 Jun 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Cozumel: an insider's guide to Mexico's Caribbean jewel

Cozumel: an insider's guide to Mexico's Caribbean jewel

Most people visit Mexico's Isla Cozumel for one of two reasons: to scuba dive, or to kill time with food and drink before their cruise ship takes off again. Eve…

03 Jun 2016 • Mandy Gardner insert_drive_file Article
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